It’s not some new revelation or anything, but I was thinking today of how it can be extremely difficult for guys like me, who grew up without a father, to even know what it means to be a man. Many of us have no idea what it feels like to be loved by a dad. We weren’t taught how to do “guy things” or shown how it looks when a man truly loves a woman. We gained our understanding of what it means to be a man from television and guys we thought we looked up to. And some of us experienced abuse at the hands of a man (or men) in our lives which served to make our concept of manhood even more a mystery. I have to be honest, I’ve spent a great deal of my adult life without the slightest idea of what it means to be a man.
The Bible speaks of God being a “father to the fatherless,” and I can attest to the validity of this claim. He has been the only dad I’ve ever known. I have failed so miserably, so often, and he has never abandoned me. Quite the contrary. Like the wonderful Father he is, he has loved and taught and trained. I’ve learned that it is only through my union with him, in Jesus, that I can be who I was created to be. I see in Christ my example of true manliness. His indwelling Spirit has revealed (is revealing) the depths of his heart, in love poured out.
So it was today, that as I cut the grass, planted a few plants, folded a little laundry and emptied the dishwasher; my heart was full. I was near to my God, and I knew my wife would be surprised and happy. I felt like a man.